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City OKs enterprise zone for Cob plantby ANGELA TORRETTA
A proposal to extend the Klamath Falls Enterprise
Zone to include the proposed Cob Energy Facility
is one step closer to approval following a vote of
the Klamath Falls City Council Monday night.
There was no discussion yet of what sort of
payments plant-developer Peoples Energy should
make in return for the tax breaks. Any tax breaks
approved would not affect the city, but Council
approval was required because the enterprise zone
is governed by both the city and county.
"It is a joint enterprise zone," he said,
emphasizing the word joint.
Cob representative Paul Turner recently upped the
amount the plant would contributed to the county
from $1 million to an amount at half of the
estimated property taxes. He estimated that would
start at about $3.2 million the first year and
decrease each year to about $2.5 million by year
15 if a full-size plant is built.
In the meeting, Hart presented his own "unofficial
and amateur" analysis of the tax proposals from
Cob and from Switzer.
For instance, in Switzer's proposal, the library
would get $154 and the fire department would get
$25,000. In the Cob proposal, the library would
get $167,443 and the fire department would get
However, all talk about numbers is still just
After that it would return to the county, and
Peoples Energy will be asked to submit an
application, and prove the business qualifies for
During the public hearing the Council heard
several people speaking in favor of the plant, and
only one protest, from farm-land advocate Lyn
Brown had queried state education officials about
whether the money Peoples Energy paid in taxes
would have been subtracted from the state aid the
county school district gets.
Hart said his decision to approve the enterprise
zone was strongly influenced after learning about
Brown's information from the state.
The trust is responsible for administering
projects to negate carbon dioxide effects from
plants like Cob.
Senn said projects such as the city's geothermal
heat system and Oregon Institute of Technology's
sustainable energy project may be eligible.
"I think we have to not be shy in the near
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Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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